What happens in meetings?

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Let’s take another look at meetings as they are important indicators of organizational culture. We’ve checked why there are meetings. This week, let’s look at what happens in meetings. Meet how? The How: How often are meetings held, and with whom? Is it a standard circus, like the bi-weekly team meeting, scheduled with an iron format? Or are meetings incidentally …

Valentines at work

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Hey, Valentines. We were talking about meetings on this blog but, this week, we’ll make the workplace kinder. Let’s spread some “Valentines” at work. Random acts of kindness Random acts of kindness are the easiest way to develop a more positive culture at work. You can do them anonymously – and on the go. It fits any culture type. But …

Why do you have meetings?

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Are you looking forward to meetings? Many people hear a firm No inside. Meetings are often associated with wasting time and practicing patience. In many organizations, they are the opposite of fun, learning, true connection, positive awareness, and shared purpose. Hence, they do not contribute to a positive culture that needs these four ingredients. Game your meetings As Daniel Mezick …

Dyads or Triads?

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Does your organization prefer Dyads or Triads? One-on-ones can be very productive and comfortable to exchange information. In the intimacy of our shared office, I can talk with that colleague sitting across from me. That feels safe if I trust her. I can discuss my insecurities or doubts about a project and she could coach me. (I won’t if I …

Are you Downloading, Debating or in Dialogue?

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Welcome back to the Positive Power series. Here’s part 3 at the team and organization level of “WE”. Let’s see what interactions you see happening around you. Otto Scharmer discerns four levels of conversation in organizations. Downloading People are talking nice, they are polite. They reenact the rules of conversation. They “download” a conversation format. They hear what they expect …

How do you respond to politics at work?

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How do you respond to political plotting? It may not be easy but it is necessary to contribute to more positive workplaces! And it’s something you can do, regardless of your role. Every interaction makes a difference. Again, it’s important to acknowledge the others’ underlying need. It might be a need to bond with an ally or the need to …

How to address monsters in meta?

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In this post, let’s take a look at how you could address “monsters in the room” and use “meta-communication” that addresses the how and why. First, it’s crucial to check your attitude: Am I treating the other as a person? Next, you could ask yourself: What do I want for myself, the other, and the relationship? Are you entrenched within …

Is it safe or are there monsters?

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I simply love the Crucial Conversations book that covers how to have any conversation and respond to any reaction, while you stay true to yourself and enhance safety and respect in the relationship. Conversations are often difficult when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Most people avoid them or don’t handle them well, resulting in the silence …

How to train your listening skills?

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The counterpart of Inquiry is Listening. As we are often in telling mode and we value doing over being, listening may not come naturally. I assume that we could all use the exercise below and repeat it from time to time. I myself have to slow down, focus my attention and practice patience. I’m always tempted to jump in and …

Possibility-oriented questions

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In the last post, we have seen that our behavior follows our questions. For instance, I could complain about the lack of response to my emails. I could ask limiting questions that focus on finding the culprit. Why do they not even have the courtesy to reply? Who ignores my emails? These questions will make me feel annoyed and not …

What do you ask to influence others?

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In our culture of telling, to ask can be judged as ignorance while leaders are supposed to know what to do. Telling is expected and respected. And it feels so good to give advice, thinking we have solved someone else’s problem! But wise leaders use questions to engage people and encourage them to take ownership. Looking at the lack of …

The art of asking

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Humble Inquiry is the art of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer. It is building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person, says Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry. Our culture is biased toward telling. When in telling mode, we hope to educate, impress, or to entertain. Western, egalitarian and …